Beat - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |biːt|  American pronunciation of the word beat
Brit.  |biːt|  British pronunciation of the word beat
irregular verb:  p.t. — beat  p.p. — beaten


- a regular route for a sentry or policeman (syn: round)
in the old days a policeman walked a beat and knew all his people by name
- the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart (syn: heartbeat, pulsation, pulse)
he could feel the beat of her heart
- the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music (syn: rhythm)
the conductor set the beat
- a single pulsation of an oscillation produced by adding two waves of different frequencies; has a frequency equal to the difference between the two oscillations
- a member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior (syn: beatnik)
- the sound of stroke or blow
he heard the beat of a drum
- (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse (syn: cadence, measure, meter, metre)
- a regular rate of repetition
the cox raised the beat
- a stroke or blow
the signal was two beats on the steam pipe
- the act of beating to windward; sailing as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing


- come out better in a competition, race, or conflict (syn: beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish)
Agassi beat Becker in the tennis championship
We beat the competition
- give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression (syn: beat up, work over)
Thugs beat him up when he walked down the street late at night
The teacher used to beat the students
- hit repeatedly
beat on the door
beat the table with his shoe
- move rhythmically (syn: pound, thump)
Her heart was beating fast
- shape by beating
beat swords into ploughshares
- make a rhythmic sound (syn: drum, thrum)
The drums beat all night
- glare or strike with great intensity
The sun was beating down on us
- move with a thrashing motion (syn: flap)
The eagle beat its wings and soared high into the sky
- sail with much tacking or with difficulty
The boat beat in the strong wind
- stir vigorously (syn: scramble)
beat the egg whites
beat the cream
- strike (a part of one's own body) repeatedly, as in great emotion or in accompaniment to music
beat one's breast
beat one's foot rhythmically
- be superior
Reading beats watching television
This sure beats work!
- avoid paying (syn: bunk)
beat the subway fare
- make a sound like a clock or a timer (syn: tick, ticktock)
the grandfather clock beat midnight
- move with a flapping motion (syn: flap)
- indicate by beating, as with the fingers or drumsticks
- move with or as if with a regular alternating motion (syn: pulsate, quiver)
- make by pounding or trampling
beat a path through the forest
- produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly
beat the drum
- strike (water or bushes) repeatedly to rouse animals for hunting
- beat through cleverness and wit (syn: circumvent, outfox, outsmart, outwit, overreach)
I beat the traffic
- be a mystery or bewildering to (syn: amaze, baffle, bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, get, gravel, mystify, nonplus, perplex, pose, puzzle, stick, stupefy, vex)
This beats me!
- wear out completely (syn: exhaust, tucker, wash up)
I'm beat


- very tired (syn: bushed, dead)
so beat I could flop down and go to sleep anywhere

Extra examples

He beat the dust out of the rug with a stick.

She used a hammer to beat the metal into shape.

She used a hammer to beat the nail into the wall.

The dented metal was beaten flat.

The waves were beating the shore.

He beat at the door with his fists.

The waves were beating on the shore.

The rain beat on the roof.

They beat him with clubs.

Let me sit down. I'm absolutely beat!

...can we pick this up tomorrow, because I'm beat?...

I've never seen his beat.

The team was beaten for the second time.

By winning a prize for writing Tom beat his teacher at his own game.

Kerry is the man to beat in the US Democrats' race.

Phrasal verbs

beat about  — search anxiously
beat back  — cause to move back by force or influence
beat down  — persuade the seller to accept a lower price
beat in  — teach by drills and repetition
beat out  — come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
beat up  — give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression

Word forms

I/you/we/they: beat
he/she/it: beats
present participle: beating
past tense: beat
past participle: beaten
singular: beat
plural: beats
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